Fox Haters Week in Review!

Why does a Think Progress smear spread over the internet like wildfire, while the truth barely makes a ripple? We answer that and more in today’s thrill-packed edition of Fox Haters Week in Review!

Dog Eat Dog

There’s a new pug in town, and it’s just what the world needs: another canine smear-Fox site! It’s the cleverly titled Fox News Watchdog. But in case you thought this was just another blue blog using the popularity of FNC as a cover for making partisan political arguments, rest assured. The Watchers (who have courageously masked themselves in anonymity) dispel that notion:

Fox News Watchdog does not endorse a particular political party or have any specific political agenda. The truth is what’s important. The truth is what this site is all about.

It's good to know that they aren't going to favor any political party or agenda. That much is obvious from their articles, like this one:

The more vocal and ignorant voices in our current political atmosphere would like nothing more than to obliterate the rest of the world if it means they get to watch Nascar and drink beer without fear of “terrorism”.

No agenda there. Here's another:

This [tea party] movement is nothing more than a re-branding of the core republican ideology. White, disenfranchised Christians. Their tenants are exactly what the republican party has always stood for.

Hmmm. What do they have to say about health care?

The issue has become overly politicized since the Republicans have little else to focus their sights on, and a victory for health care would be a victory for Obama and the Democrats. So at the expense of the average American the Republicans are doing (literally) everything to sabotage it.

And this:

Debunking More Republican Spin and Dissecting the Health Care Reform Bills

It's good that they aren't endorsing any party or agenda, isn't it? 'Cuz they're just about "the truth". Well, in the midst of all these non-partisan, apolitical posts there are actually a handful that actually deal deal with Fox News. One of them recycles just about every distortion and lie in the long-debunked Monsanto flap. And then there's one that purports to present a series of quotes from FNC personnel. For example, Greta van Susteren:

Unfortunately, this is a free society, and we’re gonna have people with trucks, and people with bombs.

We're not sure what the point of this quote is supposed to be, but it seems even more impenetrable when you consider that the statement was made nearly ten years ago, when Greta was on CNN. Oops, the Watchers didn't mention that. Another "quote", this time from Steve Doocy:

I’m not sorry I said it. I was angry and maybe a little overly emotional, but I’m glad I brought this issue out in the open. It’s important that we address discrimination against conservatives in this country.

This Doocy "quote" has circulated around a handful of sites that claim to feature famous quotes, but none of them gives any source. Google turned up no video, no transcript...nothing to verify Doocy ever said it. On the other hand, there is little doubt about the genesis of the quote that the Watchers give top-billing to, purportedly from Mr Bill O'Reilly:

I don’t like the way he breathes, you know? It makes me think he’s trying to make America gay.

The Watchers don't mention that this was supposedly O'Reilly talking about Buddha. And if you believe any of this then we have some lovely oceanfront property in Kansas to sell you. The Watchers lifted the bogus quote from a website well stocked with things O'Reilly never said. Because, as the site itself points out:

Uncyclopedia is an encyclopedia full of misinformation and utter lies. You might say it puts the "psych!" in "encyclopedia".

Yes, it's a good thing the Fox News Watchdogs are believers in "the truth". The only question is: when are they going to put that belief into practice?

Power Outtage in the Echo Chamber

The Fox Haters noise machine is an incredibly efficient disseminator of propaganda. A single post on a favored blue blog will quickly find itself over the interwebs, based on the popular (among Fox Haters) notion that anything that attacks FNC is simply "too good to check". From what we can tell, this one began at Think Progress:

Fox News placed a full-page ad in the print version of the Washington Post today declaring the network “The Most Powerful Name In News.” (It didn’t run in our copies of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal.) The ad features Fox personalities Bret Baier, Shep Smith, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Greta Van Susteren. But what’s most interesting is who is NOT in the ad: Glenn Beck, who appears on air between Smith and Baier.... So why did the network leave Beck out of the ad?... the fact that today’s ad leaves him out may indicate that Fox is finally getting frustrated with the fact that he is draining advertisers, with some sponsors abandoning the entire network because of Beck.

Note that in order to advance this concocted theory, TP misrepresented Beck's timeslot. He doesn't "appear on air between Smith and Baier". He comes on before Baier. The line-up pictured in the ad is precisely the order in which the programs air: Baier-Smith-O'Reilly-Hannity-Greta. TP even admits elsewhere in their post that Beck airs at 5:00 pm! Was TP deliberately trying to camouflage the obvious 6-11pm focus of the ad? Just ask Mediaite:

This ad was the first in a series of full-page ads, with the next featuring Megyn Kelly, Shep Smith, Neil Cavuto and Beck. In other words, the ad yesterday was the 6-11pmET line-up – the next one will be the 1-6pmET line-up. Fox & Friends will get their own, as will the 9am-1pmET team of Bill Hemmer, Martha MacCallum, Jon Scott and Jane Skinner. It’s not like every hour isn’t dominating cable news anyway – now everyone gets their bragging rights!

48 hours after Think Propaganda printed obviously fallacious nonsense, what have they done? Posted a correction? Amended their post? Silly rabbit, of course not. You'd think with the speed of the interwebs the Mediaite report would have percolated back to Think Propaganda in a matter of hours, let alone days. But the false story still stands.

Speaking of that echo chamber, it quickly spread the TP story to lots of sites. But somehow Mediaite’s rebuttal, which has the singular advantage of being truthful, didn’t seem to get the same sort of distribution. Bloggers for Change: no correction. Daily Kos: no correction. Glenn Beck News: no correction. Pure Politics: no correction. Of course Keith Olbermann jumped on the story. How could he resist? It was in both TP and his own blog, Daily Kos! And the Young Turks not only recycle the Think Propaganda meme, but the host of their video repeats and amplifies TP's blatant lie:

Mind you Glenn Beck's between Bret Baier and Shep Smith in the line-up. It's not like he's not, timewise, he wasn't in the right time period. No he's in that time period.

No he's not Young Turk, and you are parroting lies. Shocker! How is it that these Fox Hater sites so quickly regurgitate the Think Propaganda slant, even repeating the lie about Beck’s timeslot (hardly a difficult fact to verify, even for Fox haters)? And yet when a post from Mediaite proves the whole thing a fraud, the noise machine suddenly goes on the fritz and nobody does a correction? Did the internet go off-line for 48 hours? Was there a power outage in the echo chamber? Or do the Fox hater sites actually prefer lies to telling the truth?


It should surprise no one that one of the disreputable propagandists to run with the Think Propaganda smear was none other than Ellen Brodsky, Queen Bee of the newshounds. Now Ellen knows what time Beck’s program airs. Ergo, she knows the TP post was based on a falsehood. But again, why bother with truth when there's a good smear to be had? So Brodsky carefully omitted from her post any mention of the claim about Beck’s timeslot, and sure enough the credulous kennel-dwellers were convinced:

  • Was this intentional, or another mistake in a long line of violations of Murdoch's "zero tolerance for mistakes" policy?
  • The gap between Shep and Billo looks like Beck could have been airbrushed at the last minute, his big head would not obfuscate the '1' as it would still be recognizable.
  • FNC is taking a step in the right direction by distancing themselves with Beck, and I'll be surprised to see his show still airing next year.
  • I'd say that Fox and Beck's relationship won't last another fortnight, let alone the rest of the year. Such a public slight is unheard of unless one side or the other has decided to pull the plug.

Mediaite has shown all this to be nonsensical drivel, but the gullible denizens of the dog pound won't know that. Why? Because, like all the others, Brodsky has refused to update or correct her ill-founded post. Another thing that shouldn't surprise anyone, given her preference for a good smear over the truth. Like her claim that Fox News was “Blaming Obama for the Louisiana Oil Spill Disaster’: a suitably incendiary headlie wholly unsupported by even one example of anyone at Fox saying the spill was Obama’s fault. This came right after Brodsky’s insistence that “Greta Van Susteren Promotes The GOP’s ‘Blame Obama For Arizona Immigration Law’ Meme”. Here’s the quote that Ellen cites as Greta “blaming” Obama:

President Reagan said we’ve got to secure the boarders [sic]… President Obama said that he was going to take care of the problem. Everybody on the national level said that he or she’s gonna take care of the problem. But it’s not done.

Greta cited administrations from Reagan to Obama, as well as “everybody on the national level”, but in Brodsky’s world that’s proof that Greta’s “promoting” a “GOP meme” that it’s “Obama’s fault”?!? Laughably cretinous.

Meanwhile it seems Priscilla is up in paws over Juan Williams for not playing nice with Father Jonathan Morris over immigration:

It’s strange that Williams didn’t address the profiling issue with Morris as, in an interview with Ann Coulter, he spoke against it.

Prissy doesn’t seem to understand the role of an interviewer on The Factor. It is to challenge and probe, which means addressing issues where there is disagreement. It’s not Larry King. On a website where the average commenter is more knowledgeable than any of the mongrels (especially Priscilla) the situation was self-evident:

  • Juan can smoothly argue both sides of an issue, and seems comfortable with that in a way that someone like David Shuster is no longer comfortable with doing. In journalism, so many tv personalities have cultivated a hollywood-type personae, where they must act in a particular way or else jeopardize themselves with their audience. Example-- where a leading man won't play the heavy role (or the homosexual) because it's bad for his image, etc. Juan doesn't seem to have any trepidation or reservations in this area, he just blithely argues the opposite of whoever he's interviewing.

This lofty concept seems to float completely over Prissy’s head, so let’s check another of her complaints. She decides to show her superiority to Mr Williams by playing fact-checker, with predicable results:

When Morris attempted to talk about vicious anti-immigrant sentiment, Williams cited a Zogby poll in which 64% of Catholics want enforcement of laws and immigrants sent home. (Williams didn’t note that the Zogby poll was drawn from an online panel. He also didn’t note a later PPRI poll which shows Catholic support for immigration reform.)

The Zogby poll used neutral language, and it wasn’t just an online survey but a scientific sampling. The poll cited by Priscilla conflates legal immigrants with illegals, was conducted by a partisan interest group trying to rebut Zogby’s findings, and used loaded wording to achieve that end. Maybe that’s why Juan Williams went with a respected polling outfit.

Since Fr Morris is an FNC contributor Prissy tosses in a little guilt-by-association, claiming that his order, the Legionaries of Christ, “could actually be dissolved pending an investigation, by the Vatican, into its secretive business operations”. The link given by Priscilla to substantiate this smear makes no mention of “secretive business operations”, and says that the order is not being dissolved. Oops. Finally, this gem:

This was followed by a rather, in my mind, cynical question about whether this was “about keeping Hispanics in the pews because the Catholic Church is worried that fewer and fewer people are going to church.” (One assumes that if a librul reporter framed such a question to an evangelical pastor, there would be hell to pay!)

Um, is Prissy suggesting Juan Williams is not a “librul reporter”? Really? Cher Horowitz, move over!

Spot something you’d like to see in the next Fox Haters Week in Review? Send us an email!
blog comments powered by Disqus